Dugdale’s got it wrong on education

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Kezia Dugdale has promised to abolish charitable status of independent schools should she, as leader of the Scottish Labour Party, become First Minister (your report, 22 June). It’s lazy politicking and mimics the SNP’s language of inverted snobbery – if something or someone is successful, don’t emulate – eliminate.

Abolition of senior secondary schools and introduction of comprehensive schools was lauded as the answer to inequality. It wasn’t and still isn’t.

My own parents benefited from senior secondary school education, the nearest thing to a free grammar school education in 1950s Glasgow, available to anyone who demonstrated academic aptitude and a desire to maximise the opportunities on offer, all for the price of a school uniform.

Fast forward to the 1980s and my parents could only stand by and watch as their own children entered the very same schools, now comprehensive, which realised less social mobility than generations before.

I am not prepared to let history repeat itself unchallenged.

The state sector (not its teachers) failed to keep my children engaged and realise their full potential, necessitating an unexpected 
move to the independent 

Demonising Scotland’s independent education system, which succeeds in catering for children’s desire to learn, is simply saying what voters want to hear.

It wilfully neglects Scotland’s state-run education system, which is failing too many children and side-steps the facts that people are not equally capable and aspirations vary widely.

Why do state schools fail so many children? Significantly reducing the size of state secondaries would be an excellent starting point and provide the teaching profession the opportunity to do the very job it is trained for.

What does it say about a country that’s comfortable educating its children in institutions with larger capacity than its prisons?

Anne Cannon